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New Thurles Town Park – A Positive Step Into Our Future

Thurles-Town-Park

Construction begins on the new Thurles Town Park.

Perhaps it comes from that occasional light tap I received on the back of my head from a loving Grandmother as a young boy; her occasional reminder that I had failed to convey an appropriate “Thank You” at a required point in time.  Perhaps, maybe it is my own inquisitive nature in attempting to acquire true historical facts, or indeed maybe it’s both. Whichever, this week I found myself rummaging amongst the publicly accessible records, held currently behind the attractive red brick exterior of the Thurles Town Council office.

As many of our local readers will be well aware, an exciting new project, which has the backing of both Thurles residents and businesses; obtained through a process of full consultation, has now been initiated here in Thurles; the end positive result of which will be the emergence of a much needed Town Park amenity.

For the benefit of our many absent readers, latter formally natives of the town, but now for one reason or another are resident abroad; the construction of this soon to be realised Town Park is on property, formally farmland, owned by St Patricks College and positioned to the rear of The Source Complex, immediately east of the river Suir.

Chosen for the overseeing construction of this new park is SIAC Construction, a large multi-disciplined construction group with significant operations across Ireland and further afield, established and renowned for providing turnkey solutions to the Irish Building and Civil Engineering industry.

A Town Park For Thurles

From my research possibly the first public mention ever of a Town Park for Thurles, (according to notes examined), was back in 1910. The suggested site was, believe it or not, on hallowed turf known today as “Semple Stadium.” Back then different views and ideas were being tossed about as to whether the present Semple Stadium site should be used, not to build the second largest Stadium in Ireland, but for use as a Graveyard or as a Town Park. Lack of any real decision making, resulted in an umbrella group being formed by some residents of Thurles, latter seeking a ‘Sports Field,’ which same eventually and through personal private / donations was successfully purchased for a sum reported to be between £1,100 and £1,700.

However today’s now sanctioned Thurles Town Park project was initially the brainchild of visionary Mr Tomas (Tom) Barry, latter recently retired Chief Executive of Carlow Co Council, but who was Thurles Town Manager in 2002.

Following discussions with his Council Administrative Staff, Mr Barry decided to include a proposal to Thurles Councillors to increase the towns overall ‘Commercial Rate’ by 25%, in the upcoming 2003 Budget estimates, bringing it into line with other Irish towns of similar size.  His forward looking plan was that some 15% of this 25% increase would be ‘ring fenced,’ to meet local contributions required for a possible number of future Capital Projects within the town. It was anticipated back then that this 15% would yield some €200,000.00 per annum.

The Visionary Future For Thurles

Mr Barry in his five point visionary plan unveiled a possible, yet attainable dream for Thurles, details of which are listed hereunder:-
(1) A Leisure Centre.   (2) Regional Arts Centre.   (3) Thurles Town Centre Enhancement.   (4) Thurles Town Park / River Walk.   (5) Upgrading / Extension to Thurles Council Offices (Latter then grossly overcrowded and unfit for day to day business transactions.)

Mr Barry, in his report on this proposed budget, had stated to his elected Councillors that a Leisure Centre, Regional Arts Centre and a Town Park should be visualised for the future, as being all major practical additions to any town’s recreational facilities, while a Town Enhancement Scheme would dramatically augment an overall appearance of the Thurles town centre.
Having shared his vision with Town Councillors, Mr Barry’s proposals were considered at the 2003 Budget Meeting which was held on Thursday, December 19th 2002. This aforementioned Budget, which including this 25% Commercial Rate increase, was formally adopted by a 5 votes to 2 majority, with two other councillors unavoidably absent from that meeting.

Who Shared In Tom Barry’s Thurles Town Vision?

Those who shared Mr Tom Barry’s future vision, thus voting Forthe adoption of this proposed 2003 Budget increase were; Elected Councillors Mr John Kenehan (Now retired former Thurles Mayor), the Late Mr Paddy Durack (RIP), Mr John Kennedy (Now an outgoing Councillor), Mrs Mae Quin (Now retired), and Mr Martin Ryan (Now retired).

Those who voted ‘AgainstMr Tom Barry’s future vision for the town and thus against the adoption of this same 2003 Budget were; then elected Town Councillor Mr Paddy Barry (Now retired) and Mr Jim Ryan (Recently re-elected Co Councillor).

Those who ‘Abstained, through being unavoidably absent from this Budget meeting were; Elected Councillors M/s Frances Boyle (Now retired) and the Late M/s Ann Mernagh (RIP).

This new Budget, then formally adopted in December 2002, saw the immediate ring fencing of some 15% of annual town revenues generated, which in turn were wisely invested by an ever shrewd Town Clerk, Mr Michael Ryan, latter now presently Thurles District’s Administrator.  Mr Ryan’s superb money management, through selective investments, would later lead Councillor John Kenehan to be entered into the final Minute Book of Thurles Town Council, using wording to the effect. “I would like to thank in particular Town Clerk Mr Michael Ryan, who kept Thurles Town Council always so strongly and clearly financially focused along a straight and narrow path .”

To all persons past and present, who through their vision and business acumen, or in any way, shape or form, contributed to this now, soon to be realised, Thurles Town Park, the people of Thurles say “Thank You” for your successful planning, management and overall foresight, as we watch this dream now become a reality.

Google, HSE & PayPal Could Move Offices To Thurles

Dail Bar:

Dáil Bar – any day at lunch time.

Exciting news today, with the as yet unconfirmed reports that Google, HSE and PayPal offices could be on the move out of Dublin, “lock, stock and laptop,” to provide jobs here in Thurles, Co Tipperary.

The rumour is supported by reports that Dublin Authorities have now advertised for a specialist company which will hopefully rid them of a colony of seagulls circling high rise buildings in the capital, mistaking the latter as erosion landforms or vertical cliffs.

To prevent this possible stampede of recent new Dublin jobs to rural Thurles, this same Dublin Authority are now seeking, quote; “a professional pest control company to provide a suitable deterrent system, or process, to eliminate the presence of birds and seagulls.”

“The seagulls here in Dublin have lost the run of themselves” said one Dáil Éireann TD. “Dive Bombing Seagulls drive at us through the open windows of the Dáil Bar at lunch time, like ancient Pterosaurs, he continued. (Latter ‘Pterosaurs’ is a type of flying reptile from the late Triassic and Cretaceous Period, living some 228 to 66 million years prior to the birth of EU commissioner Phil Hogan).

They snatch from our hands Gourmet Burgers, Decadence D’Or Cupcakes and in the ensuing turmoil of fighting them off, overturn large glasses filled with Henri Jayer Richebourg Grand Cru and Cote de Nuits, latter to be soaked up in expensive chair and floor coverings,” said another disgusted female visiting Senator.

The hallowed corridors of our parliament building were awash yesterday, with rumours that a bag of traditional hard boiled sweets (large ‘Black & White Mint Humbugs,’ I understand), latter purchased from the cut price Dáil Tuck-Shop for use in the Dáil Chamber, had been snatched by one of these same vicious winged marauders.

The TD and Senator referred too, who both wish to remain anonymous, have now called for the Environment Minister and Tipperary native, Mr Alan Kelly to take immediate remedial action.

The raucous and anti-social behaviour caused by these seagulls may also give us a clue as to why our Irish elected representatives made such a ‘hames’ of certain policy decisions, over the past four or five years. It is not widely known, but it would appear that these noisy seagulls are keeping our politicians, senior civil servants and their vast array of consultants awake at night; latter all attempting to slumber in these same high-rise Dublin cliff-like apartments.

Is it any wonder therefore that what should have been a relatively easy solution to many of our countries problems, (e.g. the nation’s crippling bank bailout, –  the granting to Irish Water of over €424.5 million to install water metres instead of plugging leaks – and of course the latest refusal by Fine Gael and Labour TD’s to “rock off ” on the Vincent Brown / TV3 proposed late night ‘people debates’ programmes) are now observed by the Irish electorate as being unmitigated full-blown national catastrophes.

The good news for Thurles however could be that senior management and staff at the offices of Google, HSE and PayPal have all had their fill of these seagulls and are now looking for ‘gull free territory’.  If truth be known they are sick to death of these swooping cheeky birds, squawking from their nests at ‘cock crow’ every morning, from the elevation of these new man-made cliffs.

Management and staff are rightly afraid of these birds, who in scenes reminiscent of the Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds,”  attack their young children; dispossessing them of their lollipops and gourmet French Fries (‘Chips’ to rural dwellers), not to mention the continuous squirting of eliminated liquids and solids, falling while in flight from their digestive tracts, via their ani, before landing to splatter on new shiny metallic Mercedes-Benz auto-mobiles, during a time of great urban water shortages.

Result for Thurles however would be a massive reduction in current unemployment for the first time in over 25 years and all thanks to good old Mother Nature and Dublin’s sardine famished seagull population.

Tipperary Employment – Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics

“Lies, damned lies, and statistics” is a phrase commonly used to describe the persuasive power of numbers and in particular the use of statistics to bolster the spin of powerless government representatives; in their efforts to support even weaker arguments regarding local employment policies.

The CEO’s Tipperary Live Register series gives a monthly breakdown of the number of people claiming Job-seekers Benefit, Job-seekers Allowance and other Registrants as registered with the Department of Social Protection. Figures like those shown hereunder, are published from each local social welfare office in Tipperary. This same Live Register, for some unknown reason, however is not designed to measure true unemployment figures. It includes part-time workers (those who work up to three days a week), seasonal and casual workers entitled to Job-seekers Benefit. It also does not appear to include Registrant figures for those leaving the Unemployment Register to seek work overseas or Registrants leaving only to re register again at another Social Welfare office as part of their efforts to find employment in our major cities.

North Tipperary Unemployment – Both Sexes – All Ages = 6,271

Nenagh – Both Sexes – All Ages = 2,542, Roscrea – Both Sexes – All Ages = 1,193, Thurles – Both Sexes – All ages = 2,536.

South Tipperary Unemployment – Both Sexes – All Ages = 7,864

Cahir – Both Sexes – All Ages = 1,135, Carrick-On-Suir – Both Sexes – All Ages = 1,699, Cashel – Both Sexes – All Ages = 1,031, Clonmel - Both Sexes – All Ages = 2,478, Tipperary Town – Both Sexes – All Ages = 1,521.

Total Current Unemployed Persons in Co. Tipperary up to and including December 2014 = 14,135

For those of our readers who have been somewhat dubious as to the accuracy of unemployment figures posted here on Thurles.Info and our criticism of local newspapers and websites, who continuously insist on publishing TD’s inaccurate spin, please Click Here and browse the combinations and permutations for yourself.

In the words of award winning columnist Gene Kerrigan (Sunday Independent) “I’m not sure why the media co-operates in this charade – Why do for free, work for which ‘consultants’ are paid enormous amounts?” Journalistic comment in all its forms certainly hit a new low in 2014. Of course the use of the internet and the need to be “first with the news” to generate traffic, has led to a “copy / paste, check and update later” mentality within almost all media sectors.

Look at the recent ‘Press Releases’ posted out by elected North Tipperary TD’s, and published by local media and websites;
(1)“Fine Gael Tipperary TD, Noel Coonan, has congratulated the eight organisations across Tipperary which have been approved for National Lottery funding by the Fine Gael Minister for Children and Youth Affairs James Reilly under the 2014 funding programme.” All hail James Reilly.

(2)“Local TD and Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has welcomed the announcement by his colleague Kevin Humphreys of an allocation of €483,561 for five Tipperary projects.” All hail Kevin Humphreys.

National Lottery Funding of course comes from the everyday grocery store gambling habits of the tax payer. Proceeds are then collected and distributed at the whim of vote catching elected public representative, who in turn want you to believe this funding is their money, to approve and distribute in omnipotent fashion. Of course for some reason such doled out aid further attests to the belief that these same elected public representatives are the great “sustainers’ of your local universe.”

“We know you all, and will awhile uphold (Until Next Elections) the unyoked humour of your idleness.”

Apologies to William Shakespeare – (Henry IV [part 1])

Derrynaflan

Five powerless elected public representatives. (Four from Tipperary).

The above five senior politicians, Mr M. McGrath, Mr N. Coonan, Mr T. Hayes, Mr J. Deenan & Mr A. Kelly took a long self promotional weekend away from Dail Éireann on Friday April 25th 2014, to appear at the Horse & Jockey in Co Tipperary for the launch of the “Derrynaflan Trail Tourism Project,” but currently remain powerless to control National Museum policy, which could remove up to 300 people from our ever increasing Thurles & Tipperary Unemployment Registers.

Tourism Statistics
Figures released recently, via the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation, indicate that overseas tourists spent just over €3.5 billion in Ireland this year and 7.3 million overseas visitors to Ireland in 2014 represented the highest number in the sector in the past six years. The Confederation also claim that tourism businesses employed in excess of 200,000 people, with 5,000 employees having been added in the past year, and the prospect for a further 8,000 jobs to be generated in our current starting year.

With Tipperary’s recent growing unemployment figures published by the CSO this month and the closure of several well known hotels in this county, it is quite obvious that Tipperary tourism businesses failed to contribute to aiding our counties unemployment during 2014; consequently we have failed as a county to attract and have lost control of our tourism industry due to our failure to demand our fair share of tourism funding.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Ms Heather Humphreys has recently announced the provision of an extra €2m in Arts funding, to be expended on Museums in Dublin and in Castlebar, Co Mayo, (latter only six minutes normal drive time via the N84 from Derrywash, Islandeady, the renowned birth place of  Taoiseach Enda Kenny). The purpose of this funding has little to do with supporting Arts or Culture, instead it was granted to support yet again the Dublin Tourism Sector.

Continue reading Tipperary Employment – Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics

Thurles Born Actor Peter O’Meara Stars In ‘Charlie’

 First RTÉ drama ever commissioned about a political figure includes portrayal by Thurles born actor.

Peter-OMeara-as-Brian-Lenihan

Thurles born Peter O’Meara as Brian Lenihan in ‘Charlie’.

Episode one (Duration: 1hr – 12mins) of the feature-length drama ‘Charlie’; exploring the real events and the emergence of modern Ireland through the rise and fall of Charles J. Haughey, was broadcast last night (Sunday, January 4th) at 9.30pm for the first time.  It should be noted that this RTÉ One slot was previously occupied by ‘Love/Hate’ and will continue to air this month for the next two Sunday nights.

The first Episode of ‘Charlie’ seen last night, began with the Fianna Fáil leadership heave of 1979 in which Mr Charles J. Haughey (September 1925 –  June 2006), ousted the then sitting Taoiseach Mr Jack Lynch (August 1917 –  October 1999) and ended with the formers 1981 narrow election defeat.

This new historical drama stars Aidan Gillen, formally drug trafficker ‘John Boy Power’ in the aforementioned ‘Love/Hate’ drama, as Charlie J Haughey, while Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, formally ‘Nidge‘ in ‘Love/Hate’, plays Mr Haughey’s press secretary P.J. Mara in ‘Charlie’.

However from a Thurles viewing perspective all eyes were on the outstanding performance, once again, by Tipperary and Thurles native, actor Peter O’Meara, who played the part of a young ‘Brian Lenihan TD’ in ‘Charlie’, having been formally cast as ‘Andrew’, latter the dentist who fleeced his clients to fund his love of champagne and low-rent prostitutes, also in the popular ‘Love/Hate’ series.

The Thurles, Co Tipperary 5ft 9in award-winning Irish actor, producer and television host (born Peter Emmanuel O’Meara on October 27th, 1969) is no stranger to stage and screen. Hailed for his work on the London stage he came to the screen in the ground-breaking HBO series ‘Band of Brothers’ playing 1st Lt. Norman Dike. He acquired an impressive following on the US TV series ‘Peacemakers’ as detective Larimer Finch latter bringing the science of the future to the ‘Old West,’ opposite Tom Berenger playing Marshall Jared Stone, and received the Western Heritage ‘Bronze Wrangler’ award.

Peter O’Meara later went on to star on season 4 of ‘Alias’ as the International arms dealer Martin Bishop opposite Jennifer Garner and guest starred on ‘CSI: NY’ with Gary Sinise, and in ‘Without A Trace’ with Anthony La Paglia and of course ‘The Forgotten’ with Christian Slater.  He recently returned to the Sky/Cinemax action series ‘Strike Back’ as Major Brian Donoghue.

Peter has appeared in the independent feature films; ‘Haven’ with Orlando Bloom, ‘Resident Evil: Extinction’ with Milla Jovovich and the acclaimed British World War I drama ‘My Boy Jack’ with Daniel Radcliffe and Carey Mulligan.

In relation to comedy roles Peter is friend to Justin Long in the New Line Cinema hit romantic comedy ‘He’s Just Not That into You’ playing Bill opposite Ginnifer Goodwin. He has also taken minor roles in the comedy‘The Grand’ with Ray Romano and the movie ‘Leap Year’ opposite Amy Adams and John Lithgow.

Peter, who is married to comedy and drama writer Kayla Alpert, are both parents to twin 7-year-old boys, Myles and Clive and often take low profile trips home here to Thurles to visit his parents, now living in active retirement.

For those of you who may have missed episode one of this historical drama, his excellent and most believable portrayal of the late Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Brian Lenihan TD (November 1930 – November 1995), can be viewed by clicking HERE, anytime over the next 14 day.

Call On Minister Kelly To Halt National Betrayal Of Irish Water

“There are other forces at work here. They may not be political forces – I don’t know where they’re coming from, but they’re there and they’re active and they have influence.”  –  Remark made by Thurles born Fergus O’Dowd Fine Gael TD,  –  formerly the Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources and Environment, Community & Local Govt, with responsibility for the NewEra Project.

Tipperary TD and Minister Alan Kelly is about to give away the exemption Ireland holds from directly charging for domestic water under EU Law. Unless he desists and renews Ireland’s water exemption by Jan 1st 2015, it will lapse. This ‘give away’ will make it more difficult for future governments to abolish direct charges for domestic water.

Water-Protest

Mr Seamus Healy TD, in a recent Parliamentary Question, has called on Minister Kelly to immediately renew this exemption, so that the power to charge or not to charge for domestic water will remain with the Irish people and Dáil Éireann, into the future.

A copy  of  Seamus Healy’s request in a Parliamentary Question to Minister Kelly is carried here below.

Mr Healy stated; “Former MEP, Kathy Sinnott explained in a recent opinion piece in the Irish Times (Nov 21, 2014): “In 2000, the Irish government brokered this exemption and the inclusion of article 9.4 which formally and legally absolves Ireland and only Ireland from the requirement to charge for domestic water.” As an MEP I brought this to the public’s attention in 2008 when the last government was introducing water charges for schools. On April 17th of that year minister John Gormley stated in the Dáil that “The only exemption available to Ireland, and availed of, is contained in article 9.4 and relates to dwelling houses using water for ordinary household purposes.”

This government has no mandate to give away our exemption from domestic water charges. The Labour Party promised in the last election that it would prevent Fine Gael from introducing domestic water charges. Now a Labour Minister is not only introducing the charges, but is giving away the power of our parliament to abolish them in future. Irish democracy is being undermined by Minister Kelly and his government,” he stated.

“I call on all Oireachtas members from Co Tipperary including Senator Landy (Lab) and Minister Tom Hayes to stop this national betrayal now,” said Mr Healy!

Question for Written Answer by Seamus Healy TD

To ask the Minister for Environment and Local Government, Alan Kelly TD,

“If he will confirm that there is, at present in 2014, no requirement for charges to be imposed on domestic dwellings for the use of water from public mains for domestic purposes under the EU Water Framework Directive and that article 9.4 formally and legally absolves Ireland from the requirement to charge for domestic water.”

Also “If he will ensure on behalf of the Irish Government that this exemption is renewed before Jan 1,2015 so that Irish governments will retain the power to charge or not to charge for the use of water for domestic purposes into the future and if he will make a statement on the matter?”

Signed:  Seamus Healy TD – 087-2802199.

For those of you who feel strongly about this issue; you should email (Copy & Paste) this “Parliamentary Question” directly to Mr Kelly (minister@environ.ie ), however, from my own experience dealing with his Tipperary office, do not expect to receive a reply, as Mr Kelly and his staff are shy and highly unlikely to respond.

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